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Marble Floor

BT "Local" Promises for fibre switchover

Since way before the Covid 19 pandemic, BT "Local" have been touting for our continued business.


Just to give an oversight to our setup;

We have 2 offices @ Unit 5 (workshop) and Unit 25 (admin)

Unit 5 (workshop) - phone line;

Historically, we used to have 2 lines: 0198x xxxx08 (main) and 0198x xxxx70 (fax)

Our main phone number is: 0198x xxxx08

The fax line is now redundant and has been for many years.

We operate a sub-contract CNC workshop. As such, the environment can be noisy so we each have a BT 6500 cordless phone which is also connected to a "HOSIDEN BESSON" bedlam alarm (or bell).

Unit 5 (workshop) - broadband;
We only need 1 broadband. Due to past line noise issues. BT decided to connect our broadband to the other redundant line. However, we were told it was cheaper (by £1 per month), to keep both broadbands and numbers in place.


Unit 25 (admin)

Here we operate a BT cordless phone with a Business BTHub.

Our main phone number is: 0196x xxxx11

Here we go...

At least, 18 months before the Covid 19 scare, I would receive regular calls from "BT Local", warning me of impending doom regarding the cessation of BT's analogue services in 2025.

Initially I pretty much discarded these calls as 'spam' and carried on, to perform my usual daily tasks in every aspect of trying to keep our wee company running, and helping to support the few families that rely upon us as an employer.

Once the Covid pandemic had struck, and the workforce was sent home, I was alone in the office when I received a call once again from "BT". During this conversation, I thought that maybe this would be the ideal time to embrace the suggested move to Fibre & VoIP. So I agreed to it.

Round 1


02/04/2020 : Keith Davies from BT Business called me with the promise was that we would save money by going VoIP. The actual reality that ensued, has cost us more in time and money than it was worth...

Once the new router was delivered, the first problem I found was that it didn't want to play nicely with our internal custom IP Subnet. This meant that I had to spend 3+ days updating all of our equipment, servers and firewall rules in order to appease the standard 192.168.1.x subnet :(

Alongside of this, all the Yealink DECT phones were delivered, which required setting up, and I had been given my 'over-the-phone' tuition to accessing and configuring the "BT Portal".

However, one of the things that didn't get "red flagged" from BT or "BT Local", was the fact that we run an engineering workshop. As explained from the get-go, we operate a simple system of 4 analogue cordless phones with a bedlam alarm. Being a noisy environment, even though we have cordless phones in our pockets, we need the bedlam alarm to alert us to an incoming call to the landline. The lifeblood of our company!

BT's response was that there was no solution for a "bell" at this time. So I cancelled the order to carry on as we were.

During this process however, BT started to charge us for the new services alongside our existing services with the promise that "once all is done and dusted, you will be credited for the differences".

That actually equated to: We pay for both services right now, in the hope that we can talk to your accounts department to receive the credits in due course?

Throughout this whole debacle, and us withholding a few payments awaiting our credits, BT decided to cut-off our landline and broadband no less than 3 times! - I consider this incredibly bad behaviour towards a loyal customer since 1985.

Round 2


01/02/2023 : Paul Slade at "BT Local" contacted me in order to discuss BT's proposed changeover to fibre.

Because of the impending doom of Paul's mention that the "box at the top of our street" was changing to fibre, which would mean we will lose both our business landline number as well as the broadband, made me think once again, that now should be the time to revisit the VoIP option.

Following my conversation discussing the current set up and our requirements going forward, the agreed monthly price offered via Paul's email was "£180 per month plus vat".

02/02/2023 : As it now appeared that BT were now in a position to offer a "workshop bell" solution, which had been the downfall of the previous attempt to change to fibre, once again, I put my trust in the BT establishment and agreed to "go-ahead" by digitally signing QB0229063.

08/02/2023 : After final tweaks to the number of handsets required, I signed the new contract.

20/02/2023 : Having not heard anything for 12 days, I chased Paul via email.

01/03/2023 : Having not heard anything for a further 9 days, I again chased Paul via email.

08/03/2023 : "BT Price Increase Act Now!"

09/03/2023 : Paul emailed me to inform me that he had "missed a digit from one of the telephone numbers", asking me to sign an amended contract. So I agreed once again to the new contract and signed the "number port" agreement for 0198x xxxx08 & 0196x xxxx11, with the understanding that we were releasing the old fax line 0198x xxxx70.

22/03/2023 : Finally I received;

... "Thanks for your order BT22274N636 " (Unit 5) with an engineer visit due: 04/04/23

... "Thanks for your order BT22274N7R2 " (Unit 25) with an engineer visit due: to be confirmed

04/04/2023 : "Your BT order BT22274N636 is complete"

13/04/2023 : "Your package is out of contract"

21/04/2023 : "Your BT order BT22278377H is complete"

24/05/2023 : "We owe you an upgrade"

31/05/2023 : "It’s time to renew your broadband contract with us"

28/06/2023 : "BT account review"

03/07/2023 : "BT Business Cloud Service Update - Act Now!"

05/07/2023 : I was contacted by our newly appointed "personal account manager", Sarah (Cloud Voice Order Manager), whom can only be contacted by replying to an email containing the subject "Cloud Voice Order PXQBxxxxx63" at the address ""

07/07/2023 : Sarah emailed "Information about your Cloud Voice Order PXQBxxxxx63". Unfortunately, the landline numbers had been crossed over. Surely BT should know the geographical locations of the landline numbers without intervention from the customer? After all, they've been billing us from Unit 5 since 1985 on the same landline number!

18/07/2023 : Paul Slade sent me the latest amended contract to be signed. Unfortunately, the recurring charges had erroneously increased by £54.98 per month, to which I declined.

24/07/2023 : Sarah called to discuss the 'state of affairs', so I copied her in on the email threads to Paul along with spreadsheets. Yet again I asked the question "Why are we paying for 5 broadbands when we only have 2 sites? ".

10/08/2023 : Paul sent me a new "Signature requested on cloud".

14/08/2023 : I finally agreed to the figures and signed the latest contract. I also posed the question: why were we still paying for the redundant landline & broadband on 0198x xxxx70.

15/08/2023 : I received this email from Sarah;


I shall await the sales team to process the documents and then we can further discuss progressing the order.


I shall await Paul to check into what was agreed for 0198x xxxx70 which perhaps we may need to direct to the Billing team on this occasion.


I shall be in further contact as soon as we can continue the order, any issues meanwhile please let me know in responding to this email.


Round 2 - updates
So far, no call from accounts/sales
. We are continuing to be charged for the redundant landline 0198x xxxx70 and 5 x broadbands instead of 2, with the promise that all credits will be issued after the changeover. {when is that going to happen?}

It seems to me that in this modern world of tracking all of our movements, preferences, likes and dislikes, it's a bit concerning when BT, the largest communication company within the UK, hasn't the ability to share across all departments, full details of each customer's on-going history.

18/09/2023 : The latest bill (162) still shows that we are being charged for 5 broadbands, including the redundant 0198x xxxx70 landline. If we are being charged £87.40 for the 2 new broadband packages, why are we still concurrently paying an additional £158.91 for the 3 old broadband packages?

23/09/2023 : No idea at all to whether this whole VoIP thing is still going to happen. Other than the reception of two new "BT Business Smart Hubs" 2 months ago, and the recent 5x bill - all is quiet.

To add insult to injury, this month BT have charged us an additional £40.00 as a late payment fee whilst we have been trying to clarify and resolve this situation with them.

This whole situation makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable of entering into a 5 year contract. Where is the "customer service" and "quality" in all of this?

In the meantime, here is a chart to show how much BT Cloud VoIP has cost us so far. As you may notice, we still haven't been fully credited for the Round 1 concurrent charges. What an absolute mess!

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